by James Alsup III
Games featuring large mecha seem to be my forte here at @anime!
VO:OT is a sequel to Sega's much ballyhooed arcade game Virtual On: Cyber Troopers. While VO:OT was released in the arcades in Japan, it was largely ignored by arcade owners here in the States.
VO:OT features large mecha combat. You have your choice of Temjin, Raiden, Fei-Yen Kn, Cypher, Apharmd B, Apharmd S, Grys-Vok, Dordray, Bal-Bados, Angelan, and Specineffp.
Each mecha has its strengths and weaknesses. Cypher and Fei-Yen are fast, but lack armor. Raiden and Grys-Vok are big behemoths, but lack speed. Each mech comes in 2 colors: DNA and RNA. If the DNA color is dark, then the RNA color is light, and vice versa.
Like Chu Chu Rocket, this game features on-line gaming capabilities. Sega has also released a cable that allows you to play VO:OT on two different TV screens, much like the combat cable feature in Armored Core.
For those of you who though that VO:OT would be a good mecha combat game, think again. VO:OT is little more than a fighting game with large mecha. Oh, there's nothing wrong with a good fighting game. I just have a problem with ones with crappy controls.
VO:OT is IMPOSSIBLE (and I do mean impossible) to play with the standard Dreamcast controller. Sure, you can fire your weapons, but it's so hard to use your jets to dash with, slide, then shoot. That maneuver is the key to survival in the game. So, if you want to play the game well, you have to go out and buy the Sega Twin Sticks.
The Twin Sticks cost as much as the game does (5800 yen). They're nice. They're weighted, so they don't feel flimsy, and they have pads on the bottom so they won't slide if they're on a table. But with no other games on the horizon that will support the twin sticks, they aren't a worthwhile investment.
What can I say? The graphics are first rate. They make good use of shadows, the game looks as good, if not better, than the arcade version, and the playing levels are nicely created.
Sound is great as well. If you listen closely, you can distinctly each of the mecha's engines, the weapons, and the "Boom-Boom-Boom" as they dash across the playing field.
Great if you have the Twin Sticks, terrible if you don't.
I was looking forward to this game. It plays well since I have the twin sticks, but I can't excuse Sega for making the regular DC controls so bad. If you buy this game, you need to get the Twin Sticks. Unfortunately, most import retailers didn't order a lot of Twin Sticks. The things are so heavy that the shipping costs were astronomical. Even with the twin sticks, VO:OT disappoints. Without the benefit of network play, it has little replay value. So, I'm going to have to give this game 2 scores.